More than 140 members of the Stony Brook University community gathered online on April 15 to honor the best of their 5,000 student workers and their supervisors for their service to the University and campus community. Led by the Career Center’s Student Employment Specialist, Tara Campbell, the event provided awards to students based on nominations from their mentors and peers in the workplace. For everyone in attendance, it was an opportunity to spread stories of encouragement and positivity during this difficult time.
Marianna Savoca, Assistant Vice President for Career Development and Experiential Education, opened up the ceremony by stating, “We need to find good things to celebrate, and that is why we are hosting this virtual celebration today.”
“I’m giving you all a virtual handshake, a virtual hug, and a virtual pat on the back to all of you here,” said Dr. Richard Gatteau, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “I’m just excited to see everyone still being creative and proactive in everything we do.”
The Impact Awards went to the student workers and supervisor who received the most nominations. The winners are:
- Alexander Penney, LGBTQ* Center
- Marissa D’Arcangelis, Student Centers
- Katie Seitz, Career Center Career Coach
The Distinction of Excellence Awards went to five students who displayed exemplary work ethic and commitment to their on-campus jobs. The winners are:
- Katherine Soto, Student Centers
- Ricardo Lutchman, Academic Success and Tutoring Center
- Zaina St. Louis Small, Career Center
- Joseph Archipolo, Commuter Student Services and Off-Campus Living
- Kaylie Chavez, University Libraries
The Undergraduate Grand Prize Awards went to the three most exemplary undergraduate student workers.
- The third place award went to Sylvia Johnson, a “once-in-a-lifetime employee” of Campus Residences who makes all residents feel included with her bubbly and warm personality. Her supervisor, Esther Wells, wonders what she’ll do without Sylvia when she graduates.
- The second place award went to Claudia Ma, an employer relations assistant for the Career Center. Described as a “quiet storm” by her supervisor, Kimberly Joy Dixon, she praised Claudia as a calm, thoughtful professional with great communication skills who is both a leader and a team player.
- The Undergraduate Student of the Year award went to Emma Morse, the Undergraduate Student Coordinator for the Student Accessibility and Support Center (SASC). Described as the “perfect person for the job,” she provides exceptional service to her fellow students and taught her supervisors as much as they taught her.
The Graduate Grand Prize Awards went to the three most exemplary graduate student workers.
- The third place award went to Abigail Maher, the graduate student coordinator who made deep and meaningful connections with every student who entered the SASC. She schedules most of the 5,000 exams conducted by the SASC and continues to run the front desk from her home office.
- The second place award went to Melanie Hornstein, who led many programs and initiatives in the Academic Success and Tutoring Center, including the Peer Assisted Learning program as well as the level one weekly tutoring training, and co-instructs a public speaking course.
- The Graduate Student of the Year award went to Sina Rashidian, a research assistant whose exceptionally innovative EaserGeocoder project uses machine learning to turn addresses into geolocations for large-scale public health studies. His work includes helping physicians predict patient health risks through analysis of their electronic medical records as well as to detect potential medical errors. Stony Brook University Hospital is adopting his work to identify patients at risk of diabetes, which kills 250,000 people in the U.S. every year.
The Student Peer Choice Award, given to the student with the most nominations from their peers, went to Lynn-Arielle Jean-Louis, a third-year resident assistant for Benedict College. She is a leader who brings joy, mentorship and support to H-Quad that rubs off on all of her peers, who admire her compassion and work ethic that drives them to do better.
The Supervisor of the Year Award went to Christopher Larson, head of access services for the Health Sciences Library. Nominated by his student employee, Xiaoqing Zhang, who considers him one of the reasons why she finds her work so rewarding. She admires him for his work ethic, constant efforts to expand the library’s services and willingness to go out of his way to assist patrons.
The Career Center’s Director for Experiential Education, Urszula Zalewski, closed the ceremony by thanking Stony Brook’s student workers for their tireless efforts. “Nomination or not, we do appreciate tremendously your efforts and your time,” she said. “As Dr. Gatteau said before, we would not be able to survive without your help, that’s for sure. So thank you so much to all the student employees on our campus. And it’s our pleasure to be part of such a supportive community.”
Student Employee Awards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGPFUwEEZYU
Undergraduate Student Employee: https://youtu.be/nHBrox_pYWo
Graduate Student Employee: https://youtu.be/hMOOaJIKZiI
Peer Choice: https://youtu.be/kizNMDv1C7Q
Supervisor of the Year: https://youtu.be/e0v9L6DpTXA
— Matthew Yan